I Dream A World: The Harlem Renaissance and Beyond

I Dream A World: The Harlem Renaissance and Beyond

New World Symphony

Feb 1 - 5, 2022
Recurring daily through Feb 5, 2022

Tickets will go on sale December 2021.

Immerse yourself in NWS's week-long multi-disciplinary festival celebrating and exploring the early 20th century’s dynamic intellectual and cultural movement centered in New York City’s Harlem. The Harlem Renaissance was a significant period of artistic expression that shared what it meant to be Black in America. Michael Tilson Thomas collaborates with conductor Thomas Wilkins, Dr. Tammy Kernodle, Michelle Cann and others to explore the landmark era’s music, dance, spoken word, theater and more.

Festival Events


Tuesday, February 1 at 7:30 PM
Noir Reverberations: A Night of the Music and Poetry of the Harlem Renaissance and Beyond

Poet Kevin Young and Dr. Tammy Kernodle explore topics and themes of the Harlem Renaissance through poetry and music. The Ambassador Chorale of Florida Memorial University, Florida's only HBCU, will join the NWS to perform choral settings of works by William Dawson and Moses Hogan as well as traditional gospel songs. Soprano Michelle Bradley will perform art songs by composers, including William Grant Still, Florence Price and Margaret Bonds. The performances will be preceded by a 60-minute poetry reading by notable Miami-based poets and students, curated by P. Scott Cunningham, Founder of the O, Miami Poetry Festival.

Wednesday, February 2 at 7:30 PM
A Handful of Keys: A Retrospective of American Keyboard Music

This concert launches a multi-year exploration of piano and piano-centric music of Black composers and musicians. This project is a collaboration between the New World Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas, The Curtis Institute of Music, Michelle Cann and students from her studio at Curtis.

The February 2 performance will feature works of Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Florence Price, Jelly Roll Morton, Hazel Scott, Irene Britton Smith, Fats Waller, and Helen Eugenia Hagan.

This project will include a website which augments selections from the concert with recorded performances of other works and biographical information about the composers." This reference site will continue to be updated. While the composers represented on this concert are from the Harlem Renaissance era, performances and website content will expand to include Black composers from different historical eras. Pianist and musicologist Dr. Samantha Ege (Lord Crewe Junior Research Fellow in Music at Lincoln College, University of Oxford), will serve as an advisor to the website.

Thursday, February 3, 2022, at 7:00 PM (Truist Pavilion; Free, ticket required)
Inside the Music: Echoes of the Harlem Renaissance

New World Fellows will present a vibrant multidisciplinary chamber program connecting the Harlem Renaissance's artistic legacy to today. In tracing the musical roots of contemporary composers, we can follow their lineage not only to 1920s Harlem but also to companion artistic movements across the country. Developed under the guidance of MTT and musicologist Dr. Tammy Kernodle.

Friday, February 4, 2022, at 7:30 PM (Truist Pavilion; Free, ticket required)
ABFF Presents Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

The American Black Film Festival presents a special screening of Netflix's award-winning film starring Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman about a fiery blues singer who joins her band for a turbulent recording session in 1920s Chicago.

Saturday, February 5, 2022 at 7:30 PM
Victory Stride: The Orchestral Legacy of the Harlem Renaissance

Michael Tilson Thomas and Thomas Wilkins lead the New World Symphony in a performance of orchestra and chamber music by the great composers of the Harlem Renaissance. This concert will be preceded by a talk curated by FIU Professors Shawn Anthony Christian and Nathaniel Cadle. This presentation—drawn from books, magazines, photographs, and ephemera—explores how authors and visual and performing artists created a vision of Black modernity that extended beyond New York to become a national and global movement.

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